Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

How Does ERPsim Influence Students' Perceived Learning Outcomes in an Information Systems Course? an Empirical Study

Academic journal article Journal of Information Systems Education

How Does ERPsim Influence Students' Perceived Learning Outcomes in an Information Systems Course? an Empirical Study

Article excerpt

1. INTRODUCTION

Today, business processes and decision making depend heavily on information systems such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). ERP are complex information systems, which integrate business processes and decision-making at the organizational level. Understanding business processes and being able to use enterprise software are skills in great demand by industry and many business schools require the teaching of hands-on skills in ERP. However, it is a challenge for instructors to teach and students to learn business processes and ERP software in the classroom since business students often lack knowledge of real-world business processes and have limited IT skills available to operate an ERP software application (Leger, 2006; Seethamraju, 2011). To overcome this difficulty, many business schools have introduced ERP simulation software to their curriculum. Using simulation games in business education is an innovative pedagogical approach. By playing software games, students can understand better business processes and ERP from learning by doing (Leger, 2006).

ERPsim (ERP Simulation Game) is an ERP teaching-learning software tool developed by HEC Montreal, Canada. ERPsim simulates a real-world marketplace in which virtual companies can operate business processes using a commercial version of SAP software (Leger, 2006). In the classroom, student teams operate a virtual wholesale beverage distribution company using a SAP client. Each team uses standard ERP reports and transactions to manage all business processes involved in the marketing, inventory, sales, and forecasting of various bottled water products. The teams analyze these transactions and review financial reports during the simulation and compete against each other in the same marketplace with the goal of maximizing profit. The simulated marketplace provides students with opportunities to practice their business strategies and to develop hands-on skills to manage business processes using SAP clients. "Using the SAP simulation, students also develop technical skills through direct interaction with an actual SAP client." (Cronan and Douglas, 2012, p. 4). Worldwide, over 130 universities have adopted ERPsim (https://erpsim.hec.ca/en/about/participating_universities) in their IS or other business courses.

Pedagogical evidences suggest that ERPsim improves students' learning performance in IS courses (Leger, 2006; Seethamraju, 2011; Cronan and Douglas, 2012). However, an extensive literature review indicates that little is known about causal relationships among cognitive-psychological factors, learning behavior and learning outcomes. There is also a lack of theory-supported empirical studies on the effectiveness of ERPsim in students' learning behavior and performance. In particular, no empirical study has investigated how cognitive-psychological antecedents influence students' learning behavior and outcomes when they used ERPsim as a learning tool. It is not known what these factors are and how they improve students' learning performance when using ERPsim. This study aims to close the research gap with an empirical examination of the effects of some psychological factors on students' learning behavior and outcomes when they participate in ERPsim games in the classroom. Specifically, a theoretical model is proposed to investigate the effects of enjoyment and cognitive appraisal on the behavioral intention to use the learning tool and the effectiveness of the learning tool. The effects of enjoyment and cognitive appraisal on behavior are well acknowledged in both IS and pedagogy literature (e.g., Davis, Bagozzi, and Warshaw, 1992; Venkatesh, 2000; Van der Heijden, 2004; Wakefield and Whitten, 2006; Beaudry and Pinsonneault, 2005; Fadel and Brown, 2010).

The contribution of this study is twofold. First, the researchers extend upon prior research of ERPsim by focusing on causal relations among antecedent variables and learning behavior and outcomes. …

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